News from around the Green industry
Power Equipment Celebrates 60th Anniversary
Power Equipment Co., a family-owned business based in Cortland, Ill., celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008. The company was started in 1948 by Don Soderberg and Jerry Langford. Dave Olson was hired the same year and became president in 1974. The Olson family purchased the business three years later. In 1995, Power Equipment moved to its current location in Cortland, eventually expanding to a 30,000-square-foot warehouse and 5,000 square feet of office space. The business is now run by Dave Olson’s sons Rick and David.
LidoChem Expands Into Northeast/Midwest
LidoChem, Inc.’s Performance Nutrition Division has expanded into Northeast and Midwest regional turf and ornamentals markets. The company hired Chris Manzella as Northeast/Midwest sales manager. Manzella will be responsible for managing sales of the division’s products, expanding the local dealer network and developing LidoChem’s relationships with strategic partners. He has a background in landscape development, product positioning, business management, integrated pest management and agricultural chemicals.
Dixie Chopper Appoints New President/CEO
Art Evans, founder of Dixie Chopper and its only previous president, announced that Gary A. Morgan has been appointed to the position of president and chief executive officer of Magic Circle Corp., the manufacturer of Dixie Chopper lawn mowers. Evans will remain chairman of Magic Circle’s board of directors. Longtime Dixie Chopper executives Jeff Haltom and Wes Evans will be added to the board, joining John Zeiner and Gary Pershing.
Morgan most recently managed the business of New Holland Ag for North America. He had been employed by Case New Holland for 11 years in various senior management capacities. He graduated from the State University of New York-Cobleskill with a degree in accounting.
Traxel Joins Ecological Laboratories
Ecological Laboratories, Inc. has hired Douglas Traxel as Midwest sales manager. For the last seven years, Traxel has been a territory sales manager for Mars Fishcare.
EAB Detected in Wisconsin
Four Wisconsin counties have been placed under quarantine following the first positive identification of emerald ash borer in the state. The invasive wood-boring beetle was found in Ozaukee and Washington counties. Samples of the beetle, along with larvae, were collected by Department of Natural Resources staff and identified by experts with the United States Department of Agriculture. Neighboring Fond du Lac and Sheboygan counties have also been placed under quarantine, which will affect nurseries, firewood dealers, lumber mills, arborists, pallet manufacturers and homeowners.
An updated Wisconsin EAB Response Plan was approved that describes a range of possible management actions and suggests balancing any recommended treatment with environmental impacts, land ownership, cost, sociological impacts, size of the infestation and traditional ecological knowledge. Authorities will not determine how to manage EAB until the extent of the infestation is known. Information on signs and symptoms of infestation can be found at www.emeraldashborer.wi.gov. The Wisconsin EAB Program hotline can be reached at 800-462-2803.
Lusher Joins BASF Turf & Ornamentals
Randy Lusher has joined BASF Turf & Ornamentals as a sales specialist for Illinois and Wisconsin. Previously, Lusher was a sales specialist with BASF Professional Vegetation Management for 24 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Marshall University.
Stone Center Becomes Millenia Distributor
Millenia Wall Solutions announced that Stone Center of Indiana has agreed to distribute its products. Stone Center of Indiana is a one-stop, full-service source for architectural and landscape stone products. Millenia uses 100 percent recycled, polymeric resin materials in all its wall products.
Bayer Announces Contest Winners
Three public green spaces and the industry professionals who nominated them have won the first Bayer Environmental Science GreenSpace Renovation Contest. Bayer will donate $5,000 and the appropriate lawn care products needed to renovate each space, and the nominator will donate the time and staff needed to complete the renovation.
The winners are East Lyme Town Hall, East Lyme, Conn., nominated by Tom Kalal, Jordan Brook Lawn Care, Waterford, Conn.; Glazier-Gates Park, Bradenton, Fla., nominated by Tammy Kovar, Biological Tree Services, Sarasota, Fla.; and Indianapolis City Parks, nominated by Bob Andrews, The Greenskeeper, Inc., Carmel, Ind.
Signature Acquires Nelson Turf
Signature Control Systems, Inc. has acquired L.R. Nelson Corp.’s turf division, based in Peoria, Ill. Roberto Izaguirre, previously Nelson Turf’s president, has been named executive vice president of Signature’s new turf division. Signature will have a combined 100,000 square feet of manufacturing and operations space in Irvine, Calif., and Peoria.
Venture Presents Dealer Awards
Venture Products, Inc. hosted its annual national sales meeting in Sandusky, Ohio. Dealers from across the United States and abroad gathered for two days of idea-sharing, education and family fun.
President Dallas Steiner and National Sales Manager Kevin Holland presented the annual dealer awards. Top Sales Awards went to Brace Power Equipment, Carrollton, Ohio; and Baker Vehicle Systems, Macedonia, Ohio. The Ventrac Dealer Growth Award was given to TNT Landscaping, LLC, Williamsburg, Iowa, and the New Dealer Growth Award was given to Kaz Equipment, South Windsor, Conn. This year’s Marvin Steiner Visionary Award winner was Dan Haupt, O’Neil’s Farm Equipment, Binbrook, Ont., Canada.
Strata Names New Regional Sales Manager
Strata Systems, Inc. named Joe Nagy as regional sales manager for the company’s north central territory. Nagy has over 25 years of civil engineering and technical sales experience. Previously, he served as an erosion control specialist in the earth stabilization group of Contech Construction Products. Nagy earned a degree in civil engineering from Fairmont State College.
RoadBuilders Becomes McCloskey Distributor
McCloskey International announced that RoadBuilders Machinery & Supply Co., Inc. has become its official distributor for Kansas, Nebraska and parts of Missouri. RoadBuilders, founded in 1985, operates out of five branches and represents over 20 manufacturers.
Bobcat Names Giveaway Winners
Bobcat Co. has awarded $50,000 contractor’s packages to Brian Beaumont, Beaumont Landscaping, Flanders, N.J., and Roger Coyle, Diamondback Pool Excavation, Chandler, Ariz., in the Great Road Tour Giveaway. The program was part of the Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed North American Road Tour, a traveling museum that visited 23 Bobcat dealers in the United States and Canada. During the tour, 10 attendees were randomly selected at each stop as finalists for the giveaway, and the winners were randomly selected from that group of 230.
Lott Joins Tycrop
Robin Lott has joined Tycrop as a factory sales representative for turf products. Lott has worked in sales for 20 years, most recently spending 13 years building a dealer network in western Canada.
Wiedenmann Holds Dealer Appreciation Meeting
Wiedenmann North America held its annual dealer appreciation meeting in Orlando, Fla. Juergen and Horst Wiedenmann joined the North American sales team, which is headed by Will Wolverton, for award presentations. The winners are Al Hicks, Georgia Turf & Tractor, Salesman of the Year; Storr Tractor, East Coast Dealer of the Year; Commercial Turf & Tractor, Midwest Dealer of the Year; and Golf Ventures West, West Coast Dealer of the Year.
Bandit Hosts 2008 Dealer Meeting
Bandit Industries, Inc. hosted dealers from 22 countries at its 2008 Dealer Meeting, a week of sales and service seminars, product demonstrations and plant tours with a focus on biomass and wood energy. The meeting is held every three years at the Remus, Mich., corporate headquarters.
Central Michigan University’s Steve Lawrence joined the event as keynote speaker, discussing the savings and economies made possible by the university’s use of wood waste for its energy needs. Other highlights included a “What Works For You” session and Demo Day.
Country Clipper Presents Awards
Country Clipper announced that Kaye Corp., Mankato, Minn., has earned the 2008 Country Clipper Distributor of the Year Award. Kaye currently has dealers in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. The award recognizes the company’s outstanding results in sales growth, dealer service and training and customer support.
Boettcher Supply, Inc. received the 2008 Country Clipper Sales & Marketing Achievement Award. Boettcher currently has dealers in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Colorado. The award was given for the company’s outstanding efforts in sales and marketing.
Genie Breaks Ground at Changzhou Facility
Genie Industries broke ground at its new manufacturing facility in Changzhou, China. Production is planned to begin in mid-2009. The facility will manufacture Genie equipment for the first time in the local Asian market.
PACE Expands Wright Mower Distribution
PACE, Inc. has expanded to serve the West from a newly purchased facility in Sacramento, Calif. PACE West, Inc. officially assumed the Wright power equipment distributorship. PACE now serves Wright dealers in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, as well as Florida, Hawaii and portions of eight Midwestern states.
Alpha, T-1 Awarded Utility Patents
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office approved utility patents for Jacklin Seed’s Alpha and T-1 creeping bentgrasses. A utility patent is unlike a plant-variety protection (PVP) certificate in that every part of the plant is owned by the inventor. Doug Brede developed both varieties. Jacklin’s Nu Destiny has been approved for a PVP, as well as the varieties Perfection and Awesome, developed by Brede.
Toro Hosts Symposium, Announces Contest Winner
The irrigation division of Toro Co. brought together landscape professionals and industry experts at its Success Without Excess III WaterSmart Symposium, available online at www.torowatersmart.com. Toro Irrigation invited Stephanie Tanner, WaterSense products lead, Environmental Protection Agency; Mary Ann Dickinson, executive director, Alliance for Water Efficiency; and Julian Gray, CEO, Smart Approved WaterMark, to share their expertise.
Toro announced that its new stand-on mower for the 2009 model year has been named the Toro GrandStand, a title chosen from more than 4,200 entries in Toro’s “Name It & Claim It!” competition. The winning entry was submitted by D. Gilbert, a Pennsylvania landscape contractor. He will be awarded one of the first stand-on machines to roll off Toro’s production line.
Personnel Changes at Dow
Dow AgroSciences has named Andy Kaler to the position of sales representative on its turf and ornamental team. He will serve Ohio, eastern Michigan, western Pennsylvania and western West Virginia. He joined Dow in 2007 after earning a bachelor’s degree in business management from Cornerstone University. Kaler replaces Marney Dorsey, who will now be responsible for eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She replaces Brett Garrard, who has been promoted within Dow.
Mike Birtsas has been named product communications manager for the Urban Pest Management business, succeeding Nikki Hall, who is now the marketing specialist for the U.S. Integrated Vegetation Management business. Birtsas began his career in 2003 with the Dow Chemical Co. as a production engineer before joining Dow AgroSciences in 2006. He most recently served as a pest management sales representative in northern Florida. He is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.
Syngenta Announces Alliance With John Deere Landscapes
Syngenta Professional Products announced both distributor and agency agreements with John Deere Landscapes. The agreements will allow Syngenta to increase the availability of its products and services in the lawn care and golf markets. Established in 2001, John Deere Landscapes currently operates more than 630 branches in the United States.
GolfLinx Strengthens Distribution Strategy
GolfLinx International, Inc. has strengthened its distribution strategy in North America by signing exclusive agreements with several irrigation products suppliers. Kilpatrick Co., which has operations across southern Florida and the Caribbean island nations, will market and sell the range of GolfLinx soil moisture packages.
This follows an earlier agreement with Horizon, which distributes irrigation products in 13 Western states. GolfLinx has also signed master certified distribution agreements with Keeling Co. for Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and northern Alabama; and with Carolina Turf Partners for South Carolina.